NASA relegates four astronauts to SpaceX mission planned for 2021

NASA relegates four astronauts to SpaceX mission planned for 2021

NASA has revealed that it is targeting for a late-September launch of it's SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the space station.

NASA said: "McArthur operated the shuttle's robotic arm over the course of the 12 days and 21 hours she spent in space, capturing the telescope and moving crew members during the five spacewalks needed to fix and upgrade it". Her mission will be the Crew Dragon's second in a series of at least six round-trips to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

Behnken and Hurley will return to Earth in aboard the Crew Dragon during the weekend.

Crew-2 will be Hoshide third spaceflight as he was part of Expeditions 32 and 33 and in 2012 he spent 124-days at the ISS. They'll don them again later this week for the return trip.

The group, all veterans of past ISS missions, will incorporate Akihiko Hoshide with Japan's JAXA space organization, Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency and NASA's Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur - who two months prior watched her husband Robert Behnken co-pilot the first-ever crewed flight of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule. Following the undocking, the spacecraft is targetted to splashdown on Sunday, August 2 at 2:42 PM EDT (on Monday, August 3 at 12:12 AM IST).

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The other three crew members are also experienced astronauts.

They speak about concept, design, and production processes for the SpaceX suit - which NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken both wore on their Demo-2 mission launch aboard the Dragon to the International Space Station at the end of May.

The astronauts are a mix of astronauts from NASA and the space agency's global partners. Kimbrough had joined NASA in 2000 and has completed 189 total days in space.

Mr Hoshide from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been to space twice. He has spent 140 days 17 hours 26 minutes in space.

"I am thrilled to be the first European to fly on the new generation of United States crewed spacecraft", Pesquet said, adding that it "will be a privilege" to have flown both SpaceX's Dragon and Soyuz spacecraft. "It will be extra interesting for me to compare with my first flight as a Soyuz pilot, and to bring this experience to the team".

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